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Inca Trail: Machu Picchu

  Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world.  Visited by 1.5 million visitors each year, people from all over the world travel great distances by plane, train and then bus to be here.  Many are checking off bucket lists.   During the week before hiking the Inca Trail, we talked to an older couple from Canada who had just returned from their hike.  We asked whether the journey to Machu Picchu had been worth it?  The guy laughed and said that the Inca Trail was amazing but not to fall in love with the idea that Machu Picchu was going to be some kind of climax to the hike.   "It's amazing, don't get me wrong," he said.  "But it doesn't compare to the hike itself."   We didn't really understand until we were standing at Machu Picchu.  In many ways, it wasn't different from the other ruins that we had seen:  just on a grander scale.  It did have a more colorful name.  Machu Picchu translates to "Old Penis." Most people in the U.S

Inca Trail: Dead Woman's Pass

 Temperatures continued to drop as we climbed higher and higher.  It was time to put on the additional layers of clothing from our day packs.

Dead Woman's Pass has that name because the rocks resemble a dead woman in a reclining position.  As we climbed, all of us took turns looking for the dead woman, which also signified the end of the climbing.  So, of course, we saw dead women where there were none--at least not the official dead woman.

Dead woman?  Nope

Stairway to Dead Woman
Keep climbing

Keep climbing

Just a little more

Finally, we made it to the top, where we found the Dead Woman.

There were two guys on the top who had been watching us ascend for the last thirty minutes.  They were waiting for their friend (the guy with the food poisoning) who was behind us and hiking alongside  Freddy, P, and G.  We had been told to expect rain, wind, cold, and maybe snow at the pass, but the views and weather were actually spectacular for about thirty minutes.

Eventually, the rest of our party made it to the top for a group photo.

P told us that he was feeling much better.  Ain't nothing going to stop us now.  


Bill said…
Hard core. Seriously, hard core.
greg said…
I feel for you. I've had my butt kicked by steep, high altidude trails before and have ended up looking just like Julia more than once.
John said…
Julia rebounded quickly and knew that descending would be the challenging part for her knees.

All of us guys were feeling pretty cocky for making it through the hard core part of the trail. And as a veteran hiker, you know what happens when you start feeling cocky.

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